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tv   [untitled]    June 21, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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28 points in 2010. we cannot win the election without older voters. we did not so much lose in 2010 to the tea party as they didn't so much win as we lost, because our people were not mobilized and did not come out to vote. so our progressive vision cannot grow and romney republican economic soil. it can only happen if we are smart enough and willing enough to make sure that every single day we focus like a laser beam on november 6th. between now and then, the republicans are going to do everything they can in congress to make sure we can't pass anything that's going to help the economy. it's all about winning on november 6th. the house, we only need 25 seats. a net of 25 seats. we can do this. that we keep the senate. and then, by the way, on the
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first day of the senate, we've got to push to change the rules, to get rid of that destructive filibuster rule. [ applause ] and harry reid has now said he's for that, and if we have any illusions that the republicans would maintain that, they would do it if they had the chance that we have now. we need to do it. so we can win, my friends, all the elements for victory, all the organizations and the leadership that it takes are in -- is in this room right now. so we've got a lot of work to do and we can be victorious. thank you. [ applause ] >> now our next speaker is molly
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catchbold from rebuild the dream. young people are really feeling the brunt of our economic austerity policies. nobody has felt it worse than the young people coming out of high schools and colleges right now. youth unemployment is over 16%, which means even though kids who are lucky enough to have a job can earn low wages, they have few prospects for promotion and most stagger -- i don't have to tell you this, most stagger under the weight of massive debts, which make it close to kpobl to buy a house or start a family or move this economy. young people on the occupy brigade and barricades know that priorities of wall street have ripped off their generation big-time, and they're discovering that conservative austerity is a dagger aimed at their futures, including their
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social security, their medicare, their health care, as they get older. so now we're going to hear from molly catchbold, a 23-year-old activist from rhode island, who last year took on bank of america's $5 a month debit card feed, using an online petition and she won. in only five weeks, she won. you probably remember "time" magazine's 2011 person of the year cover story. it was called "the protester." well, that was us. and molly was profiled in that issue. molly is now on the campaign's team at rebuild the dream, where she primarily focuses on student loan debt. please give a big welcome to molly catchpole. [ applause ]
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>> so i am very solidly shaped and grounded by the experiences of my family. my dad would wake up at 4:00 in the morning and make his 45-minute drive to the plant that he worked at in massachusetts. he's a machinist. he's worked in this plant for 30 years and he doesn't love it, but it's his job. and that's what matters to him. he has a job, and he's secure. i remember him coming home in the afternoon with his calloused hands that were streaked with grease. he wore a fit carhart overalls with a blue-collar shirt with his name patch sewn in, jim. and he would stay at home and take care of me in the afternoon while my mom left to attend night classes to get her associate's degree. later on she would get her massage therapy certification, and she instilled in me a deep-seeded predisposition to view the world through a feminist lens. my sister, ten years older than
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me, and year, wore plaid skirts and combat boots. her friends has pink mow hawks. i loved her and i wanted to be just like her. when i was very, very young, i knew she was gay, and i loved her, so then i loved all gay people. why shouldn't i? i experienced shared values and love, interconnectedness, respect, empathy, values of human dignity. and this has shaped me. and seizure shaped my work, and i approach my work with this understanding. and this is the power of the left. that we need to reclaim and continue to strive for, a love, a caring, and respect for everyone. [ applause ] we all come from different places and we have different stories, but i believe that there are overarched shared experiences within my generation, and there is one certainty.
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we are undergoing a major cultural shift in our generation, my generation, is fundamentally different than the generations before us. we will be one third of the electorate in 2016, 80 million strong. and this is the reality that we live in. we're graduating college massively in debt. we hit $1 trillion this year. and while is this? well, tuition fees have doubled while the median income has risen only 2.1% over that same time span. debt has tripled in ten years. and recent graduates, ages 21 through 24, almost 10% are unemployed and almost 20% are underemployed. >> that ain't right! >> no, it's not. and these numbers also in no way reflect the racial disparities that exist and continue to perpetuate. we have little hope for a secure
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retirement, and the very future of our planet is at risk. so i'm going to discuss a couple of points here and how they relate to the budget battle in austerity. to the budget battle debate that we're having, or rather, how our movement have having it, completely underrepresents or excludes young people of every race, socioeconomic status, religion, education level, and sexual orientation. and we need to completely readjust the way we talk about and enact and engage with politics by identifying, correcting, and catching up with this cultural shift and the experiences of young people. so the budget debate as we're having it excludes and underrepresents young people. as i said, it's a giant mistake because we will make up one third of the electorate in 2016. and we're disengaged because politicians do not accurately represent us. and when leaders talk about what really matters in stump
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speeches, they're really thinking about how young people are in experiencing what really matters. leaders are thinking and talking about the economy and not talking to those groups. to my visionary, swiftly changing generation period. and how can you when the median age of a senator is 62 and a representative is 55. the average term for a senator is ten years and for a representative, it's 11. in our current congress, only 8% are african-american, 6% are latino, 3% are asian or native in hawaii and there is one native american member of congress. and when i was looking at those statistics, i also looked at the list of occupations held by people in congress. and i was wondering, where are the green collar workers, the software developers, the nonprofit grant writers, police officers, environmentalist scientists. artists, organic farmers,
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theater techs, nurses. where is america? so at its core, what is the budget battle debate? what is austerity? where do we fit in? because let's be real. people like my parents, a physical therapy assistant and machinist don't use that phrase. i don't use that phrase. we don't use it, because that's not actually what we're talking about, is it? and rather than getting bogged down by terminology, that as it turns out, people aren't actually using, let's reframe it and boil it down to what it actually is. it's two fundamental belief systems. it's the belief that when we spend, we're irresponsible and shortsighted, and then it's the belief that the government has an important role to play by investing in our people, who in turn allow us to innovate and grow, and to distill that even
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further, it's what my parents taught me. it's values, it's individualism, pull yourself up by your bootstraps mentality, versus what's good for my neighbor is good for me. so it's a set of values, it's how we think and informs the decisions that we make and how we live our lives and where we live and we're going to lose that if we continue playing on the right field by only playing defensively, rather than going on the defensive. we must lay out a vision of the future and prove why we need to spend, why it's important to fund innovation and what we're going to get out of it. we feed to continue to allow ourselves to engage in framing rather than engaging in policy debate. and we need to completely come ahead and own the way that we see the world and how we can truly succeed. and young people aren't going to be engaged. one third of the electorate. so this cultural shift they
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mentioned with, what is it and how does it relate to this reframing? i'm not going to say anything groundbreaking here, but it surprises me that this is so seldom named and acknowledged when talking about politics. this is the world as it is and this is how we are. young people are infinitely more connected than previous generations. we communicate different than older people do. of the percentage of internet users who are on twitter, 28% are black and 26% are between ages of 18 and 29. we're turned off by politicians a lot of the time. we're grew up with showed like south park and "the simpsons," "the colbert report." it's cynic, fast paced, witty, funny, and very, very authentic. and more importantly, we understand the role that corporations play in politics. and it isn't fooling us. websites like opensecrets.org allows us to see who donates to
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which politicians and we aren't happy about it. my generation is completely different in how we see power and interact. we use things like zip cards, air ban beam to envision a new economy that's built on sharing and pooling resources. we view things as less permanent. we're not afraid of change. indeed, we welcome it. we're adaptive. we think about the future, we can about what making us happy. we do not want our jobs to define our lives like my dad's did. we want our lives to define our jobs. an example of this, and i realize that not every young person will have this privilege, but my sister and her partner decided to leave their job a couple of years ago to travel for three months in southeast asia, for the experience. and my dad, remember, he's been at the same plant for years. he didn't understand, didn't see the value in it. why leave this job in this
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economy. and i realize that not every young person has the privilege to do this, but we want to live in a world where everyone can. [ applause ] so who's succeeding? i mean, my generation, like i said, we're skeptical of politicians, so what are we doing? well, we're making change from the outside. so occupy wall street and its subgroups, like occupy our home, who aren't waiting for governments to pass bills on foreclosures and sure as hell aren't waiting for eric snyderman to save the day, there's the dream defenders, a group inspired by trayvon martin, who marched 40 miles from daytona beach to sanford, who occupied the police station and engaged in civil disobedience. there's the immigrant youth who are not waiting for the president to make sweeping statements, but instead marched hundreds, and thousands of miles and hung out in his office and made people listen. there's the u.s. student
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association who organizes on the outside and the on the inside, and they engaged in policy, which is amazing. there's the league of young voters. there's young invincibles who took a bus tour around the country and just sat down and talked with people. there's the green jobs movements. we're doing all of this stuff and it's incredible. despite our skepticism and disillusionment. so solutions here. another world is possible. we're envisioning another america. one that actually, accurately represents its makeup. we need to elect young people to office. our political system isn't broken. we're just not using it correctly. we feed to elect people to office that don't have advanced degrees, elect community college students, elect elementary schoolteachers, elect machinists like my dad. elect people to office who aren't in bed with the banks. because i'll tell you something, we're damned sick of taking a backseat to bankers, and we all
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need to fight to get money out of politics. and i think one thing that may be most important for my generation, we need to completely overhaul the way we send our students to college. this is part of the cultural shift. education is a right, not a privilege. and more and more, we're ushered along the path to college. and that's a path to debt. we cannot keep going down that path, and that is our battle. so in that vein, we need to work harder to pass simple legislation, like not allowing the interest rate to double on subdooids stafford loans in july. and if policy like this can't be quickly passed, what message is that sending to my generation? that you can't take it seriously
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enough? that's perfectly acceptable to let it slip by and linger until the hours before july 1st when the rates will automatically double. that you're comfortable with single handedly holding millions of dollars over the heads of american students, because you can't come up with a pay-for. why aren't we throwing ourselves behind this? why aren't we yelling? why aren't we tearing our hair out that congress can't just get this done? so let's get it done together. let's look at this interest rate fight as setting the stage for the future. it isn't the end-all, be-all fix. it isn't perfect, it's a band-aid, but if we can't vote together and put this first, how am i supposed to trust you? if we can't pull this together, how will we ever win in december? and if you won't stand with me, how can i stand with you? so tomorrow is a national call-in day on the student loan don't double campaign. we're pushing congress to vote at the end of the week.
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will you commit to making this phone call tomorrow? [ applause ] so, i can't hear you? will you commit? [ applause ] i want everyone to stand up and i want everyone to turn to the person next to them and say, i commit to stand with you. i commit. and that is how we win. thank you. [ cheers and applause ] >> thank you, molly! all right. yeah, molly for president! our next speaker brings the skills of the boardroom to the
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fight for working families. damon silvers is director of policy and special counsel to rich trumpka and the afl-cio. he was named by congressional democrats to the panel that oversaw the t.a.r.p. bank bailout. and from that perspective, damon saw up close how our too big to fail financial system deregulated by the politicians who live in the pockets of the bankers, gambled with our money, brought down our economy, and then demanded that we bail them out to prevent another great depression. damon has been sounding the alarm recently about the prospect of another round of austerity, imposed by crazy conservatives willing and able to crash the world economy if
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they don't get their way. so to share those warnings with us and to tell us what we can do, please welcome the afl-cio's damon silvers. [ applause ] >> great. well, good afternoon, everybody. first i have to really -- i don't know what roger's going to do to pay me back to set me up to be the person that follows molly. particularly, in my age, this is a dangerous kind of place to be. but, boy, you know, i'm really heartened, and taking nothing away from jan schakowsky, who's just one of the great progressive leaders of our country at this time, i have to say, i just feel so much better about our country having just listened to molly.
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[ applause ] roger said i worked for rich trumpka at the afl-cio. it's true. rich is at the g-20 meeting in los cabos in mexico. this panel is trying to put across to you, the point and the heads of the g-20 and sends his deep regrets that he couldn't be with you. richard trumpka and the head of the american labor movement, we are all in the debt of the -- of the campaign for america's future, of rebuild a dream, for the vision you put out every day, and rich wanted me to make sure to say that to all of you here, that he was so sorry that he could not be with you today. now, let me -- you know, since sort of, you know, i'm the old guy on the panel i'm going to talk about the past for a moment. you know, back before -- back before "time" magazine profiled molly, "time" magazine did
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another issue a little while ago, 60 years ago, about the american century, and -- and in that -- in that issue "time" magazine proclaimed that the 20th century was going to be or was the american century. and why was that? it turned out to kind of be true. the united states kind of did prosper greatly during the 20th century. why was that true? you could say it's true because of our vast natural resources. you could say it's true because of the genius and energy and dynamism of our population, but also i would suggest to you something that is incredibly relevant to what's about to unfold in the next six months, and by that i mean the election and then the -- the clash over fiscal policy that's going to follow it. what i'm going to suggest to you is this, that 70 years ago when the world faced a similar prolonged economic crisis set off fundamentally by inequality
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and financial instability, 70 years ago when that -- when that problem faced the entire world, the united states was the only country of any significance that addressed that crisis head on by adopting economic policies that did the two things that had to be done. the first was to restructure the debts of our families, and to say to the banks who didn't like that, tough on you. and the second thing the united states did 70 years ago was to say the most important thing that we need to do right now is to get people back to work, reinvesting in our country and modernizing our country. we did those two things, and we did them democratically, and by that i don't mean that the democratic party did them, although it's true that the democratic party did. i mean that we did them through democratic processes. nowhere else in the world did
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this happen. the other sort of democratic countries of europe pursued economic orthodoxy all the way to economic social and political ruin. two other countries moved decisively to do those things, to invest, put people to work, but they did so through horrible dictatorships. we did it in a sustainable democratic way. and now we face that same challenge again. and that -- that is why we are here today to try to lay out what this challenge is about. now, we do not -- we do not -- where's the slide show here? one is supposed to appear. oh, is it over there? all right. >> you can see it there. >> excellent. >> so here's where we are. i'm one of these people who hasn't quite assimilated technology as my prior speaker has. so here's where we are today, and this is critical to understand this debate about
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austerity. you can call it whatever you want. paul krugman says we're in a depression. i'm a little nervous about that characterization, but you dal whatever you want. the global economic crisis continues. europe has been driven into a technical recession, what economists call a recession by austerity policies. economic growth in this country remains weak, from month to month, it's a little unclear how weak it is, but it's weak. and we are very vulnerable to what's going to happen outside the united states. perhaps most troubling economic growth in asia is slowing. asia's supposed to be the great engine of the 21st century. if asian growth is slowing, we ought to all be concerned. and finally, despite what many of us have been promised, the global financial system remains very fragile. this was the contribution i
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think of -- one of the contributions of the oversight panel over t.a.r.p. just to be clear in case all of you are getting out your knives. we didn't control t.a.r.p. elizabeth warren and i and my colleagues on the panel, we opined, we had the power of the pen, but we didn't actually control what happened. that was other people. but it was very clear to us that what went on with t.a.r.p. did not repair the fundamental systematic problems with our financial system, and we've seen last fall the global financial system under both pressure from europe and from the housing markets in the united states move towards systemic crisis again. and interests, i'm afraid, the very real possibility of systemic crisis in the second half of this year as bad policy choices in europe and unresolved issues in the united states, combine with slowing growth in asia, pressure that financial system again. now, as in the 1930s, we are
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living through an economic crisis created, prolonged and intensified by bad policy choices made in the interest of the 1% or perhaps the 1/10 of 1% or the 1/100 of 1%. now you probably know all about the first generation of bad policy choices. the first generation brought us to the crisis of 2008. financial and labor market deregulation. trade policies and global financial policies that encouraged deep imbalances between different parts of the world and the way they traded with each other. wage suppression, wage suppression means government policies designed to keep workers' wages down. but now we're into the second generation of bad policy choices. austerity. thinking that the way to deal with economic -- with -- with -- thinking that the way to deal with stagnant economies is to
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force them to shrink, thinking that the way to deal with unemployment is to fire more people, austerity. by the way, austerity is exactly what happened in europe that discredited -- in the 1930s, that discredited democratic governments and brought us communism and fascism. secondly, failure to address what's gone wrong in our banking system and the way it's tied to housing and to student debt. and thirdly, failing to understand both in the united states and in europe that we live in government -- in systems of government that are bound together. different nations in europe, different states and cities in the united states, that we need, as molly said to us, to look after each other that. if i'm sitting fat and happy in some place like palo alto -- well, palo alto is not so fat and happy, but if i'm sitting fat and happy in silicon valley some place with plenty of tax revenue and down the street in east palo alto they are laying
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off all the teachers, i might owe some responsibility for that. my favorite quote that illustrates what has gone wrong in policy-making in this world is from a month ago at the oecd, the organization for economic cooperation and development, an organization set up of the developed countries to try to have some kind of -- originally it was set up to ensure that the stupidity of austerity and the great depression was not repeated again, but in the 1980s this organization was captured ideologically by reagan and thatcher, and now it's a little unclear where it stands, but a month ago the chief economist of the oecd made a presentation on the state of the world, and he said countries are doing everything right. now, understand, this guy's ideas of right are orthodox economics. countries are doing everything right and still going off the cliff. now one of the reasons i like
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working for rich trumpka, he was on the panel responding to that, and he said back and said if you think you're doing everything right and you're going off the cliff, maybe you're not doing everything right. [ applause ] i've got one graph for you. bad policy choices over a generation produced this truly bizarre outcome which is at the heart of everything that's gone wrong. the blue line on this chart is personal consumption as a percentage of our economy in the united states, and can you see that from 1990 and to 2010 it keeps going up and up and up. you go back to 1980, it moves up a full 10% of gdp, a gargantuan number. now, would you think that if personal consumption was rising as a percentage of gdp, that that would mean that people were better off, but actually it's not true. the red line, which you s

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